New York City Hall
What to watch for this week in New York politics:
It’s crunch time for a new state budget, which is due by the April 1 start of the new fiscal year. While a new budget won’t necessarily be done by then -- many years the budget has been late by days, weeks, or months (though under Governor Andrew Cuomo they have been on time or close to it) -- negotiations are due to heat up this week and there are promises that the budget will be done by March 30, before the Passover and Easter holidays arrive.
This week and next will each feature four session days for the Legislature in Albany, which means ample opportunity for legislative leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo to hold “leaders meetings,” also known as the “four men in a room.”
We’re also watching this week for further develops in the race for Governor. Cuomo has whirred his machine into motion after rumors became more real about Cynthia Nixon challenging him from the left in the Democratic primary. A Nixon announcement could come any day.
On the Republican side, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has emerged as the GOP frontrunner, though he is not officially launching his campaign until April 2, he has said. Still, he’s made it very clear that he is running and he’s been racking up key endorsements from party leaders around the tarte, including, this past week, the Manhattan County Republicans.
City Council hearings continue this week on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget proposal. We’re watching those hearings and for further signs of where the Council will land on key issues that appear to have some conflict with the mayor, like what the city will put toward the MTA.
And the week will culminate on Saturday with the March for Our Lives, marches across the globe against gun violence and for gun control, inspired by and initially organized by survivors of the February 14 school massacre in Parkland, Florida. The main march will be in Washington, D.C., and there will be several marches in New York City.
There are many events to be aware of this week - see our day-by-day rundown below.
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The run of the week in detail:
A"On Monday, Mayor de Blasio and First Lady McCray will host a press conference to make an announcement about opioids. This event is open press. There will be Q-and-A." The event will take place at 11:30 a.m. at Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island. "In the evening, the Mayor will appear live on NY1’s Inside City Hall. Later, the Mayor will attend the Feast of St. Joseph's hosted by the Democratic Committee of Richmond County. This event is closed press."
At the City Council on Monday, the Committee on Governmental Operations will hold a preliminary budget hearing at 10 a.m., regarding the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the Law Department, the Board of Elections, the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, and Community Boards.
Also at the City Council on Monday:
--The Committee on Public Safety will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “requiring the police department to submit reports on the enforcement of marijuana possession.”
--The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss a proposed law extending rent stabilization laws, and to discuss a resolution “determining that a public emergency requiring rent control in the City of New York continues to exist and will continue to exist on and after April 1, 2018.”
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Monday in Albany.
At 9 a.m. Monday, Public Advocate Letitia James will host a roundtable discussion on the implications of Janus v. AFSCME for labor and public employment, at DC37. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will be among those who speak.
At 10 a.m. Monday, “Housing Rights Initiative in partnership with the City Council’s Oversight & Investigations Committee Chair Council Member Torres, will announce a new investigation into Kushner Companies for falsifying permits with the City’s Department of Buildings and the impact it had on reducing the number of rent-stabilized apartments across New York City. New data uncovered by the Housing Rights Initiative found that Kushner Companies, which is owned by President Trump’s son-in-law and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, falsified at least 80 work permit applications across 34 buildings in its portfolio over a 4 year period. The new investigation will examine how the Kushner Companies may have averted accountability, harassed tenants, and reduced the stock of rent-stabilized apartments. Falsifying work permits with the City’s Department of Buildings is a crime and punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.” The press conference, to be held outside Kushner Companies Headquarters, 666 Fifth Avenue, will feature Housing Rights Initiative Executive Director Aaron Carr; Council Members Ritchie Torres and Keith Powers; and others.
Monday “at 5:30 PM, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will commemorate the rich contributions and history of Greek-Americans in the borough at his annual heritage celebration in the Courtroom at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The event is being held in partnership with the Greek-American Heritage Committee, an organization whose mission is to educate the public on Greek culture, literacy, and history across New York City. The festive occasion will feature Greek cuisine and libations as well as traditional dancing from the A. Fantis Parochial School in Downtown Brooklyn, D.G. Parochial School in Bay Ridge, and Hellenic Classical Charter School in South Slope. Joined by dignitaries such as Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Greece in New York, Borough President Adams will thank members of Brooklyn’s Greek-American community for their service to improving the lives of people across the borough.”
At 7 p.m. Monday, Manhattan Borough President Brewer and City Council Member Helen Rosenthal with host a community meeting on 200 Amsterdam Avenue, at Rutgers Church.
At the City Council on Tuesday, the following committees will hold preliminary budget hearings:
--Finance and Capital Budget jointly at 10 a.m., regarding the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Design and Construction.
--Health at 10 a.m., regarding the Medical Examiner and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
--Justice System at 2 p.m., regarding the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and the Human Resources Administration’s Office of Civil Justice.
--Mental Health at 2 p.m., regarding the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Also at the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Committee on Finance will meet at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the transfer of funds between city agencies “to implement changes to the City's expense budget.”
--The Committee on Education will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “requiring the department of education to provide school-level data regarding students receiving special education services.”
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Tuesday in Albany.
On Tuesday, the Regional Plan Association will host “Next New York: How a Charter Revision could change the Future of our City” at 1 Whitehall St in Manhattan -- for RPA members or by invitation only. The event will feature discussion with Public Advocate Letitia James, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and City Council Member Antonio Reynoso.
At 8 a.m. Tuesday, the Center for an Urban Future will host “Scaling Up Small Businesses in Queens,” discussing the boom in small business in Queens and concurrent lack of expansion of those businesses. Featured speakers include SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop and City Council Member Donovan Richards, along with Seth Bornstein, Executive Director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation; Yanki Tshering, Executive Director of the Business Center for New Americans; Gloria Abreu, founder of Family United Home Care; and Sean Peckett, co-founder of Soccer Friends USA. The event will take place at the Little Theater at LaGuardia College in Long Island City.
On Tuesday morning, Comptroller Scott Stringer will host an Irish Community Breakfast at the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building.
At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Board of Standards and Appeals will hold a public hearing at Spector Hall.
At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the New York City Board of Elections will hold a commissioners’ meeting.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Riders Alliance, Transportation Alternatives, and the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign will converge outside Governor Cuomo’s Midtown office to demand that congestion pricing be included in the Fiscal Year 2019 state budget.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer "will host a Women’s History Month celebration featuring prominent local writers and performers: Aparna Nancherla, comedian, actress, and writer (seen in Comedy Central's "Corporate"); Abigail Pesta, journalist and author (coauthor, with Sandra Uwiringiyimana, of How Dare the Sun Rise); Pamela Sneed, poet, performance artist, and actor (author of the story collection Sweet Dreams); and Sheila Weller, journalist and author (author of Girls Like Us, a biography of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon). Each featured guest will read or perform from a recent work at the celebration, which will take place on the mezzanine of Manhattan's historic Municipal Building."
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, "Mayor de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Greek Independence Day Reception at Gracie Mansion. This event is open press. There will be no Q-and-A. Later, the Mayor will deliver remarks at the Shared Interest: Shared Planet gala. This event is closed press."
The City Council will hold a stated meeting at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Council Speaker Corey Johnson is expected to host a pre-stated press conference.
Also at the City Council on Wednesday:
--The Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting, and Maritime Uses will meet at 9:45 a.m.
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 10 a.m.
--The Committee on Finance will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss the City Council operating budget, and a resolution “approving the new designation and changes in the designation of certain organizations to receive funding in the Expense Budget.”
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Wednesday in Albany.
The MTA will hold a board meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Panel for Educational Policy will hold a policy meeting at the High School for Fashion Industries in Chelsea.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, New York Times reporter Sarah Maslin Nir will host a discussion with MTA Chair Joe Lhota and MTA Board Member Veronica Vanterpool, talking about “what can be done to ensure the future success of the New York subway system.” The event will take place at the Museum of the City of New York, part of the “Only in New York” series of talks at the museum hosted by Maslin Nir.
At the City Council on Thursday, the following committees will hold preliminary budget hearings:
--Oversight and Investigations at 10 a.m., regarding the Department of Investigation.
--Education at 10 a.m., regarding the School Construction Authority and the Department of Education.
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Thursday in Albany.
Friday and the weekend
At 9 a.m. Friday, the Murphy Institute at CUNY will host “Promising Practices: Labor and Community Fighting Sexual Harassment in the Era of #MeToo.” Labor leaders and advocates will discuss “bringing strategies, resources, and creativity together to create an equity framework for fighting harassment in the workplace and community.”
At 9 a.m. Friday, the Association for a Better New York will host “New York City and the 2020 Census” at the Sheraton Hotel in Midtown. Joseph Salvo, Chief Demographer for the Department of City Planning, will “discuss what's at stake, New York's history with census counts, and the federal process going forward.”
At the City Council on Friday, the Committee on Aging will hold a preliminary budget hearing at 10 a.m., regarding the Department for the Aging.
Mayor de Blasio is expected to make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday morning at 10 a.m.
On Saturday, students and allies nationwide will participate in the “March for Our Lives,” to prevent gun violence in schools and elsewhere and to call on leaders to take action on the issue. In New York City, the main march will begin at 72nd St and Central Park West.
by Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max